In today’s world there are a lot of distractions that will prevent you from achieving your dreams. Personal dreams. Career Goals. Professional dreams. You name it. The goal is to stay focused and remember the why, and always have a true north.
Distractions can come in the form of family, friends, life throwing all kinds of hurdles and challenges at you, and yes, even yourself. To be successful, you need to become really good at identifying these challenges and facing them head-on. Saying no should be common practice for you, because not every opportunity is beneficial for you. Not every expense is necessary, and not every craving is warranted.
As a follow-up to my previous post, I would like to share some of the books I am reading this quarter. I did mention the importance of reading for entrepreneurs and I hope you find some inspiration in some of my picks. I also would like to hear from you about what books you are reading to further your goals both professional and personal.
Being an entrepreneur is not a path that everyone follows. It takes a lot of grit and perseverance. As someone who started and exited businesses in my twenties, I can relate to the challenges and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Point blank, it is not an easy road, and if you do not have the emotional stamina and support to get through the toughest of times, and there will be tough times, then you might be better off being an intrapreneur.
I will say that there is no shame in not being an entrepreneur, and not all entrepreneurs are successful or end up taking their companies to an IPO. But for those who commit to this journey, the rewards are ever as delicious as the struggles are painful. So some key takeaways for those of you who are just as crazy as some of us to continue on this road of finding freedom on our terms:
Storytelling is a joy! Especially when you have children gathered around you in a circle, eager to hear the tale you have to tell. I have often seen storytelling as a powerful tool in driving impact, inspiring others, sharing wisdom from lessons learned and yes, bringing about change.
For the past three years, BLI Global and RESI have been working on creating a shared experience through Storytime. I am so pleased to say that it has been such a refreshing journey learning how to write for children, recalling how we were eager children ourselves, excited to absorb new knowledge. It took us two years to finally get the book published, largely due to funding, but we did it!
I cried today. Not because of anything drastically upsetting but because I was overwhelmed with deflation and overcome by defeat at the fact that one of the projects we were working so hard to incubate seemed to be a lost cause. This is the first time I have been vulnerable in a long while to anyone else other than my spouse. I did not know how committed and dedicated I was to this endeavor, that the mere thought of us being written out dealt such a huge blow to my soul.
Today I was reminded of the importance of perseverance, as I have been reminded one time too many when pressed against a hard wall. I want to applaud all those entrepreneurs and activists who wake up everyday and toil at their trade. It’s not easy. You may have the skills but not the resources to employ it, you may have the product but not the customers to buy it, you may have the money but not the ideas to invest in. You may have this, but lack the other.
Perseverance is about looking at what you have and making it work, believing and trusting in God, or the Universe or Fate to fill the gaps and yes, simply walking in blindly. I have done this many many times in my life, and I will say it is very very risky, but also extremely rewarding once you get over to the other side.
Yugratna Srivastava is the current Global South focal point for UNEP Major Group for Children and Youth UNEP MGCY, the official youth constituency to the UN Environment. She is also a strong advocate for youth engagement at the policy level in both climate and environment.
I sit down with her to discuss some pertinent issues in the youth advocacy space and also glean some wisdom from her years of lobbying within the United Nations.